Like denim, tweed is a type of materials that everybody is aware of, and everybody has some thought about – usually, within the latter’s case, that it’s a barely old style alternative, beloved of professorial sorts, of would-be nation squires and Conservative politicians.
However that’s to malign what is without doubt one of the most noble – and spectacular – cloths in menswear, not only for its stunning utility, however the best way it carries color and texture. Small surprise menswear design of more moderen many years has by no means fairly considered it as being as fusty or fuddy-duddy as the person on the road may need.
Weave it in additional putting, or extra sober, colors – relying in your style – and tailor it with minimal stuffing, and tweed is something however stuffy. Reasonably, it’s a really 21st century fabric – practical, distinctive, and extra versatile than it at first appears.
And with menswear’s fondness for conventional workwear proper now, this hardy materials is getting being rediscovered not in taking pictures jackets or nation apparel however work jackets, overalls and gilets.
What Is Tweed?
For all of its aristocratic associations, tweed may properly be thought of an authentic workwear cloth, and a extremely practical one at that. Anybody who has ever worn tweed is aware of how heat it’s; nevertheless it’s additionally wind- and water resistant.
That’s simply as properly: tweed originated in 18th century Scotland – ‘tweed’ is alleged to come back from a mis-reading of ‘tweel’ in 1826, Scottish for ‘twill’ – the place this dense woollen fabric was woven at residence by the peasantry to offer sturdy safety for many who labored the land.
Drakes x Aime Leon Dore
Solely later did those that truly owned the land, and their likewise rich holiday-makers and property patrons from down south, take to sporting it, appreciating tweed as a lot for its melange of heather and gorse nation shades as its utility.
However even these colors had a perform: it’s mentioned that one Lord Elcho, founding father of the London Scottish Regiment, was impressed by tweed to create a fabric for his troopers to put on, one which changed the usual, vastly conspicuous blood purple uniform. The concept of camouflage was born.
Though tweed has come to be inextricably linked with the nation set – all that huntin’, shootin’ and fishin’ – by the 20th century tweed was being worn for every little thing from bicycling to golf to climbing Mount Everest, all whereas being embraced by Savile Row for weekend put on alongside the best way.
How To Put on Tweed As we speak
The softer, extra versatile Harris tweed – launched in 1847 and nonetheless the go-to tweed as we speak – means the material will be labored into all method of types, not simply bulletproof tailoring. It’s why it may be used, for instance, for looser becoming types that require a level of give – whether or not that be a bomber jacket or a chore jacket.
Teamed with a pair of denims, a tweed jacket gives safety from the weather – however with a extra basic fashion in contrast with say, a jacket in nylon or polyester mix – in addition to better textural curiosity. Or alternatively, attempt a pair of tweed trousers instead of denims – it’s an sudden transfer that lends a inventive edge to dressed down appears to be like.
Both manner, “tweed is an inherently informal, actually knock-about cloth – it doesn’t have the stiffness related to, say, a metropolis pin-stripe,” says Man Hills, founding father of Dashing Tweeds, a fabric weaver centered on giving a extra vibrant and modern spin to tweeds. “It appears to be like proper with all the standard extra informal particulars, the likes of patch pockets.”
The 2-button tailor-made tweed jacket was the definitive smart-casual alternative lengthy earlier than the time period ‘smart-casual’ was coined: worn with flannels and brogues or loafers, the jacket had an air of academia about it, with pockets filled with one’s each day requirements, collar turned towards the wind. Assume George Orwell, Woody Allen, Dr. Who, even Soiled Harry.
As of late unstructured tweed jackets and coats – worn maybe with chinos – look extra modern, extra comfortable. Don’t stand on ceremony in tweed: like a pair of denims, a tweed jacket is a type of clothes that appears higher the older and extra battered it’s.
“Tweed can at all times work in a extra modern particularly if it’s in the precise colors – blues, brown herringbones, lilac shades of heather – and the jacket is constructed in a softer, manner,” explains Marie Wiley, co-founder of British workwear specialists Previous City Clothes.
A tweed swimsuit could properly final you a lifetime – and it’ll definitely pose a problem to anybody additionally having fun with that central heating. However tweed can be a type of cloths – akin to corduroy in some respects – that manages to look sensible when correctly tailor-made, but in addition relaxed on the identical time. That is partly all the way down to picture, partly all the way down to the tactility, density and sheen of the cloths.
However play down the tweed swimsuit’s in-built traditionalism by sporting it with knitwear – a charcoal roll-neck, for instance – fairly than shirt and tie. If you happen to’re choosing the latter, keep away from tattersall checked shirts and plaid ties, to keep away from wanting too gamekeeper-ish. Or, for that matter, poacher-ish.
Once more, a softer tweed – Harris or comparable – and a extra unconstructed kind will enable you to keep away from wanting too interval costume, although that works for Professor Indiana Jones and his three-piece in Raiders of the Misplaced Ark.
5 Of The Finest Manufacturers For Tweed
The arctic explorer and missionary William Grenfell will not be identified to many, however in 1922 he gave his identify to a Burnley-based firm making a dense and hardy cotton gabardine best for nation pursuits.
Nonetheless a specialist in outerwear as we speak and nonetheless utilizing its authentic cloth, its severe overcoats have a tendency to come back in tweeds, each textural types in houndstooth and micro-check, but in addition its smoother contact ‘keeper’s’ tweed.
Delicate shouldered and unlined, Drake’s three-button tweed ‘Video games’ blazer could not cater to the outdoorsy world its identify alludes to, nevertheless it comes super-soft and light-weight.
However then the philosophy behind Drake’s has at all times been about bringing a relaxed, barely bohemian air to basic menswear – established as tie-maker in 1977 by Michael Drake, its vary of scarves, shawls and handkerchiefs would broaden to embody delicate shirting, knitwear and, sure, Italian-made tailor-made items too.
British designer Margaret Howell has, over her nearly 50 yr profession, taken menswear classics and given them an overhaul in softness, and that’s each bit the case for her lightly-lined tweed jackets.
Whereas there are extra nation cloths – a Glen examine Harris tweed, for instance – you’re extra more likely to discover tweed in additional city shades of charcoal, darkish navy or black and using a specially-woven featherweight weave.
Jeremy Hackett co-founded the eponymous model in 1983 initially by dealing in classic British suiting – and the items that tended to have survived greatest through the years have been, he famous, manufactured from tweed.
The corporate – at all times eager to play up its British roots – grew to become a surefire supporter of the material, providing quite a lot of blazers in it each autumn/winter season, in addition to waistcoats, caps and – extra unusually – tweed-fronted zipped sweaters.
It’s most likely higher identified for its covert fabric – used for its famed covert coat. And its fashion, since 1839, is certainly extra nation than city – count on loads of browns and tans, and a driving coat lower in its jackets. The corporate even nonetheless makes capes and taking pictures breeks – saggy trousers mounted with straps slightly below the knee.
That is the place Henry Stanley – as in Stanley and Livingstone – shopped. However then it’s additionally the place a Firley tweed jacket caught the attention of the person who would come to be Cording’s co-owner and part-time design director. And that man was Eric Clapton. Critically.